A new era: 6 things to know for April 16
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Israel media review

A new era: 6 things to know for April 16

The New York Time quotes a top IDF official saying Israel and Iran are now engaged in direct military confrontations

Tamar Pileggi is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Photo released by Iranian media reportedly show the T-4 air base in central Syria after a missile barrage Monday. (Iranian media)
Photo released by Iranian media reportedly show the T-4 air base in central Syria after a missile barrage Monday. (Iranian media)

1. A top Israeli military official told The New York Times that for the first time, Israel last week targeted Iranian forces stationed at a Syrian airbase.

  • “It was the first time we attacked live Iranian targets — both facilities and people,” an unnamed senior military source told The Times’ Thomas Friedman.
  • The official said the explosives-laden drone launched by Iran into Israeli airspace on Friday was the first time Tehran directly engaged with Israel militarily, and not through a proxy. The Israeli official said the drone incident “opened a new period.”

2. The state tells the High Court of Justice that it was unable to reach a deportation agreement with Uganda to accept the tens of thousands of African asylum seekers currently living in Israel.

  • State representatives said that Netanyahu’s special emissary to Uganda returned to Israel last night after 11 days of talks, but no agreement had been reached.
  • On Sunday, the court ordered the release of over 200 African migrants from Saharonim Prison after the government was unable to provide a signed deal with an African country that would accept them upon their “voluntary” deportation from Israel.

3. Coalition chief David Amsalem warns that government infighting over the contentious efforts to limit the High Court’s power could break apart the coalition and lead to new elections.

  • Amsalem said he would not accept coalition member Kulanu’s veto of a law curtailing the High Court’s power to override the Knesset, calling its opposition to the measure “the straw that broke the camel’s back.”
  • One Kulanu MK shot back, saying the centrist party was “ready for elections at any given moment.”
  • The left-wing Haaretz daily weighs in on the controversy surrounding Israel’s top court, which has long been considered a liberal bastion. “The fear of being labeled a ‘leftist’ has thrown the political system out of balance, with parties seemingly in a competition to see who can be more right wing,” the paper said in an editorial. “In this distorted worldview, the court is perceived as an entity seeking to limit the power of the right-wing government, making it a representative of the left and an enemy of the people.”
African migrants gather during a protest outside the Knesset in the Rose Garden in Jerusalem on January 26, 2017. (Sebi Berens/Flash90)

4. Gearing up for Remembrance Day later this week, most Hebrew papers on Monday feature personal stories and tributes to soldiers killed in battle.

  • Yedioth Ahronoth dedicates its entire front page to an exclusive report claiming the Defense Ministry is set to officially recognize siblings of fallen IDF soldiers, making them eligible for certain social services.
  • The paper hails the move as a “victory” for bereaved siblings who “stood by the side of their broken parents… but were never officially recognized as such by the state, until now.”
  • Yedioth says the benefit package will include psychological treatment, undergraduate degree scholarships and financial aid for a wedding or bar mitzva celebration.
  • In Monday’s paper, one of Yedioth’s columnists calls for greater care and support for IDF soldiers suffering from PTSD and their families. “Our great mourning should not just be reserved for those who died, but for those who lived as well. Alive, but whose life has been changed irreversibly,” writes Chen Artzi-Sror. “There are no victors in war, and behind every hero who returns home from war, there are those that are left to pick up the broken pieces every day.”

5. German prosecutors brought charges Monday against a 94-year-old former Auschwitz guard, accusing him of abetting murder in the latest 11th-hour attempt to use the criminal justice system to address the Holocaust.

  • The public prosecutor’s office in Stuttgart said it had filed charges of accessory to murder with the regional court in nearby Mannheim against the unnamed suspect, a German citizen born in Ruma in today’s Serbia.
  • The court accused the suspect of “supporting camp operations and thus acts of extermination” and estimated that 13,335 prisoners were murdered in the camp when he worked there between December 1942 and January 1943.
  • Through his defense attorney, the suspect claimed that he was “not aware of the background, intent or procedures behind the killing” at Auschwitz.
A woman kisses the grave of a fallen soldier on the eve of Memorial Day at the Kiryat Shaul military cemetery in Tel Aviv, Sunday, April 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

6. Israel’s Foreign Ministry says its new ambassador to Jordan is starting his posting, ending a months-long spat between the two countries over a deadly embassy shooting.

  • Amir Weissbrod’s posting ends one of the tensest periods between Israel and Jordan since the two signed a peace treaty in 1994. Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon says Weissbrod arrived in the capital, Amman, on Monday.
  • The return of an Israeli envoy to Amman comes after the two countries agreed to end a diplomatic standoff following the shooting deaths of two Jordanians by an Israeli security guard who Israel said opened fire in self-defense after one of the men stabbed him.
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